Tag Archives: limbo

The Truth about Heaven, Hell and Purgatory … references to Theosophy … with comments by Alice B. Clagett

Originally created 10 July 2013; revised 6 May 2018

  • WHAT IS THE TRUTH ABOUT HEAVEN AND HELL?
  • KAMALOKA: THE DESIRE WORLD OF THEOSOPHY
  • DEVACHAN: THE HEAVEN WORLDS ON THE HIGHER MENTAL PLANE

Dear Ones,

Here are references to teachings about the Afterlife from the School of Theosophy, along with comments by me to do with Ascension …

WHAT IS THE TRUTH ABOUT HEAVEN AND HELL?

The Theosophist William Walker Atkinson (aka Swami Panchadasi) describes how very different are the beliefs among the major religions of the world, regarding the afterlife. Some describe heaven, or hell, or purgatory, or limbo. Others speak of a great sleep, on passing, until the Day of Judgment at the end of the world …

Citation: “The Astral World: Its Scenes, Dwellers, and Phenomena,” by William Walker Atkinson, “Chapter VI. Disembodied Souls,”    … from the fifth full paragraph beginning “Let us move …” through the second sentence in the seventh paragraph, ending “… all the truth.”

Theosophists have a different, and I feel, in some instances, a far more hopeful and heart-settling set of teachings. They feel that Souls do sort, on the astral plane, after passing from physical form. But all Souls eventually slip into sleep in the Heaven Worlds of the Afterlife after their Astral Work in the Afterlife is done.

KAMALOKA: THE DESIRE WORLD OF THEOSOPHY

The Astral Work referred to here is that in which Souls experience Kamaloka …  the ‘Desire World’ … as it is termed in the School of Theosophy. The work that is done is to purify the astral body, removing the dross of dissonant energies. This may take only a little time, or very much longer.

The type of experience a Soul has during this Astral interval depends on the relative grossness or refinement of its Astral body. Or as we say in an Ascension context, the distortions in its body of light. Also referred to in Hindu texts as the samskaras, or by Judy Satori …  https://judysatori.com/ … as karmic miasmic distortions.

In terms of the Christian faith, a person who has led a very sinful life on Earth, might well have experiences in Kamaloka that are like the Christian notion of Hell. A person who has led a reasonable life on Earth … though not particularly religious or spiritual … might experience what some Christian faiths term Purgatory. A child who passes on before the age of reason, or a person who has led a saintly or spiritual life, might experience only a little time in a state some Christian faiths term Limbo.

There is quite a good explanation of the Astral Afterlife, according to Theosophy, here …

Citation: “The Astral Body and Other Astral Phenomena,” compiled by Arthur E. Powell, Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, IL. Copyright The Theosophical Publishing House, London, Ltd. 1965 … “Chapter XIII: After-Death Life: Principles,” pp. 112-119.

The following two chapters are also quite informative. These are “Chapter XIV: The After-Death Life: Particulars,” pp. 120-135, and “Chapter XV: The After-Death Life: Special Cases,” pp. 136-143.

Here is a brief overview of the Soul’s afterlife stay in Kamaloka, the Desire World:

Citation: “The Astral Body: And Other Astral Phenomena,” compiled by Arthur E. Powell, Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, IL. Copyright The Theosophical Publishing House, London, Ltd. 1965 … See: “Chapter XXIII. Astral Death,” p 204, from paragraph 1, beginning “We have now …” through paragraph 4, ending: ” heaven-world.”

DEVACHAN: THE HEAVEN WORLDS ON THE HIGHER MENTAL PLANE

When, during the Astral interval, the astral body has been purified of impure feelings and desires, a residue of desire, or kama, is left behind in Kamaloka. The higher ego (the true ‘I’) becomes free to pass on to a very different form of Afterlife experience …  that of the heaven worlds, which, in Theosophy, are termed Devachan.

The Theosophists feel that all Souls  eventually rise from the Hellworlds, Purgatory Worlds, or Limbo they were experiencing on the Astral Plane, to Devachan, the Heaven Worlds. Theirs, then is a more hopeful notion than that professed by many major religions.

In Devachan, those who passed on with desires to accomplish creative work (such as to create a great piece of music) or to exist in a paradise, or to be in a congregation of Souls of their own religion, or to accomplish intellectual or scientific work, can live out their dreams, till their desires to do these things fades. In addition, the work these Souls do in Devachan can be carried forward with them into a new incarnation, and so may aid the development of humankind.

At times, too, disembodied Souls in Devachan may be may offer their creative work as a gift to aspiring creative artists on the physical plane … They become the ‘creative muses’ for these Earth-bound artists.

There’s a good, brief summary of the Devachan experience, from the Theosophical perspective, here …

Citation: “The Astral World: Its Scenes, Dwellers, and Phenomena,” by William Walker Atkinson, published 20 January 2000 by Book Tree, “Chapter IX: Higher Planes and Beyond,” paragraph 11, beginning “I wish here …” through paragraph 13, ending “…follow the gleam!”

Here is a more detailed description of Devachan, from the Theosophical perspective …

Citation: “The Mental Body,” by Lieut.-Colonel Arthur E. Powell, The Theosophical Publishing House Limited, London, Great Britain, 1927 … “Chapter XX: Devachan: Principles,” pp 171-184.

These chapters in the same book are also well worth reading: “Chapter XXI: Devachan: Length and Intensity,” pp. 185-190, and “Chapter XXII: Devachan: Further Particulars,” pp. 191-205.

The 4 chapters following these … pp. 206-220 … describe the four lower levels (there are 7 in all) of the heaven planes. These are numbered ‘backwards’ … The first and lowest level is termed the ‘seventh sub-plane’. The second, which is a little higher, is termed the ‘sixth sub-plane’ … and so on.

In love, light and joy,
I Am of the Stars

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afterlife, astral planes, myths, religions, Christianity, heaven, hell, purgatory, limbo, School of Theosophy, Judgment Day, William Walker Atkinson, Swami Panchadasi, Arthur E. Powell, devachan, kamaloka, Desire World, Heaven Worlds, astral body, mental body, mental plane, ego, Ascension, body of Light, samskaras, karmic miasmic distortions, creative muse, subtle bodies, JScambio,

The ‘Elementary’ (Black Soul or Dark Soul), and the Process of Soul Devolution … by Alice B. Clagett

Published on 10 November 2016

  • INTRODUCTION
  • THE QUATERNARY, OR FOUR LOWER PRINCIPLES OF A HUMAN BEING
    • The Quaternary, Without Mind, Is a Lower Animal
    • Kama-Manas: Union of Desire with Lower Mind
    • Kama-Manas Is the Personality, the ‘Shadow’ of the Soul
  • HOW MANAS, OR MIND, IS DIVIDED INTO LOWER AND HIGHER DURING AN INCARNATION
    • On the Higher Manas or Mind
    • On the Lower Manas or Mind
    • On the Dual Mind
  • THE PART PLAYED BY LOWER MANAS IN THE EVOLUTION OR DEVOLUTION OF THE SOUL
    • The Normal Role of Lower Manas Is to Convey Our Incarnational Experience to Higher Manas
    • When Lower Manas is Wrenched Free of Higher Manas, an ‘Elementary’ (i.e., a ‘Black Soul’ or ‘Dark Soul’) Is Formed, and the Soul Devolves Until It Is Lost
    • Will One’s Incarnational Actions Cause Soul Evolution or Soul Devolution?
  • ON GHOSTS: THE TYPICAL KAMA-MANAS, AFTER DEATH, HAS ONE OF TWO POSSIBLE FATES
    • First Possibility: Ghosts of Those Who Had Strong Animal Tendencies
    • Second Possibility: Ghosts of Those Who Led a High-Minded, Pure Life
    • On the Intelligence of Ghosts Who Have Animalistic Charisma
    • How Such Ghosts Suck Vitality from the Living
    • How Ghosts Live in Limbo
  • THE THIRD POSSIBILITY: FORMATION OF AN ‘ELEMENTARY’ (I.E., A BLACK SOUL OR DARK SOUL); AND DEVOLUTION AND LOSS OF THE SOUL
    • Snapping of the Silver Thread (or ‘Silver Cord’) That Binds Lower Manas to Higher Manas
    • The ‘Elementary’ (i.e., ‘Black Soul’ or ‘Dark Soul’): Brute Animal in Human Form
    • Reincarnations of the ‘Elementary’ (i.e., a ‘Black Soul’ or a ‘Dark Soul’)
    • Devolution and Loss of the Soul Described
  • MORE READING
  • FOOTNOTE

Dear Ones,

INTRODUCTION

This discussion is background information for an upcoming blog presenting a syncretic theory on the class of beings termed:

  • The Antisocial Personality (ASP) of Psychology;
  • The ‘Elementary’ (aka Black Soul or Dark Soul) of Theosophy;
  • The Reptilians or ‘Hybrids’ of popular folklore, and 
  • The ‘Controllers’ (who are said to have been mind controlling humankind) in the context of the Awakening.

The current blog offers the metaphysical approach to this class of beings. The blog describes the circumstances surrounding the formation of the being known as the  ‘Elementary’ (the ‘Black Soul’ or ‘Dark Soul’) and the rare instance of devolution and loss of the Soul, in the context of the teachings of Theosophy. The quotations below are from “The Seven Principles of Man,” by Annie Besant. (1)

First, some preliminary information on the ‘Quaternary’, that aspect of man which I touch upon in my blogs on the Gut Brain, the Lower Triangle, the Vital Body and the Desire Elemental.

THE QUATERNARY, OR FOUR LOWER PRINCIPLES OF A HUMAN BEING

The Quaternary comprises four lower principles. These are prana, which is the spirit of life; desire (or kama); the etheric double (sometimes termed the Linga Sharira); and the beast in us (the Sthula Sharîra). Annie Besant has a cogent description of the quaternary (1) :

The Quaternary, Without Mind, Is a Lower Animal

“The quaternary, regarded alone, ere it is affected by contact with the mind, is merely a lower animal; it awaits the coming of the mind to make it man. Theosophy teaches that through past ages man was thus slowly built up, stage by stage, principle by principle, until he stood as a quaternary, brooded over but not in contact with the Spirit, waiting for that mind which could alone enable him to progress farther, and to come into conscious union with the Spirit, so fulfilling the very object of his being.” (1)

Kama-Manas: Union of Desire with Lower Mind

“United to the lower part of Manas, the mind, as Kвma-Manas, it becomes the normal human brain intelligence, and that aspect of it will be dealt with presently. Considered by itself, it remains the brute in us, the ‘ape and tiger’ of Tennyson, the force which most avails to keep us bound to earth and to stifle in us all higher longings by the illusions of sense…

Kama-Manas Is the Personality, the ‘Shadow’ of the Soul

Kama-Manas is the personal self of man; we have already seen that the quaternary, as a whole, is the personality, ‘the shadow’, and the lower Manas gives the individualising touch that makes the personality recognise itself as ‘I’.” (1)

HOW MANAS, OR MIND, IS DIVIDED INTO LOWER AND HIGHER DURING AN INCARNATION

“We must now consider Manas during a single incarnation, which will serve as the type of all, and we will start when the Ego has been drawn – by causes set a-going in previous earth-lives – to the family in which is to be born the human being who is to serve as its next tabernacle. (I do not deal here with reincarnation, since that great and most essential doctrine of Theosophy must be expounded separately).” (1)

On the Higher Manas or Mind

“The Thinker, then, awaits the building of the ‘house of life’ which he is to occupy; and now arises a difficulty; himself a spiritual entity living on the mental or third plane upwards, a plane far higher than that of the physical universe, he cannot influence the molecules of gross matter of which his dwelling is built by the direct play upon them of his own most subtle particles.” (1)

On the Lower Manas or Mind

“So, he projects part of his own substance, which clothes itself with astral matter, and then with the help of etheric matter permeates the whole nervous system of the yet unborn child, to form, as the physical apparatus matures, the thinking principle in man.

“This projection from Manas, spoken of as its reflection, its shadow, its ray, and by many another descriptive and allegorical [Page 29] name, is the lower Manas, in contradistinction to the higher ManasManas, during every period of incarnation, being dual.

On the Dual Mind

“On this, H. P. Blavatsky says: ‘Once imprisoned, or incarnate, their (the Manas) essence becomes dual; that is to say the rays of the eternal divine Mind, considered as individual entities, assume a twofold attribute which is …

–“‘(a) their essential, inherent, characteristic, heaven-aspiring mind (higher Manas), and

–“‘(b) the human quality of thinking, or animal cogitation, rationalised owing to the superiority of the human brain, the Kвma-tending or lower Manas” (Key to Theosophy, p. 184).” (1)

THE PART PLAYED BY LOWER MANAS IN THE EVOLUTION OR DEVOLUTION OF THE SOUL

The Normal Role of Lower Manas Is to Convey Our Incarnational Experience to Higher Manas

“We must now turn our attention to this lower Manas alone, and see the part which it plays in the human constitution. It is engulfed in the quaternary, and we may regard it as clasping Kama with one hand, while with the other it retains its hold on its father, the higher Manas. Whether it will be dragged down by Kama altogether and be torn away from the triad to which by its nature it belongs, or whether it will triumphantly carry back to its source the purified experiences of its earth-life – that is the life-problem set and solved in each successive incarnation.” (1)

When Lower Manas is Wrenched Free of Higher Manas, an ‘Elementary’ (i.e., a ‘Black Soul’ or ‘Dark Soul’) Is Formed, and the Soul Devolves Until It Is Lost

Thus we see that the Goal of lower manas is to carry back incarnational to higher manas at death. But if the union of kama-manas, which constituted the earthly personality, is overweighted by desire, then lower manas cannot reunite with higher manas at death.

Instead, lower manas will be carried away by kama, and become a separate entity known as an ‘Elementary’ (aka, a ‘Black Soul’ or ‘Dark Soul’, as will be discussed later). The trauma experienced by Higher Manas by this separation causes Soul devolution, and the loss of the Soul.

Will One’s Incarnational Actions Cause Soul Evolution or Soul Devolution?

At death, then lower manas has one of two fates, depending on the way the life was lived.

  • If an average or good life was lived, then the role of Lower Manas is to assist in Soul Evolution by ferrying life experiences to Higher Manas, with which it reunites.
  • If an exceedingly depraved life was lived, then the weight of desire (kama) in kama-manas may cause the link between lower and higher manas (mind) to sever; and Soul Devolution will occur. In that rare instance, the severed kama-manas will form a separate being, an ‘Elementary’ (i.e., a ‘Black Soul’ or ‘Dark Soul’). More on this below.

ON GHOSTS: THE TYPICAL KAMA-MANAS, AFTER DEATH, HAS ONE OF TWO POSSIBLE FATES

An understanding of the normal process of dissolution of kama-manas after death is important to the understanding of the rare instance where an ‘Elementary’  (i.e., a ‘Black Soul’ or ‘Dark Soul’) is formed, and Soul devolution begins (to be discussed next). These passages describe how Kama-Manas, the union of desire with mind, typically fares after we pass on. There are two normal possibilities, and one unusual and highly undesirable possibility. According to Annie Besant (1) :

“Soon after the death of the physical body, Kama-Manas is set free, and dwells for a while on the astral plane clothed with a body of astral matter….

“Meanwhile, that portion of the impure garment of the lower Manas which remains entangled with Kama gives to the desire-body a somewhat confused consciousness, a broken memory of the events of the life just closed.” (1)

First Possibility: Ghosts of Those Who Had Strong Animal Tendencies

“If the emotions and passions were strong and the manasic element weak during the period of incarnation, the desire-body will be strongly energised, and will persist in its activity for a considerable length of time after the death of the physical body. It will also show a considerable amount of consciousness, as much of the [Page 43] manasic ray will have been overpowered by the vigorous kamic elements, and will have remained entangled in them.” (1)

Second Possibility: Ghosts of Those Who Led a High-Minded, Pure Life

“If, on the other hand, the earth-life just closed was characterised my mentality and purity rather than by passion, the desire-body, being but poorly energised, will be a pale simulacrum of the person to whom it belonged, and will fade away, disintegrate and perish before any long period has elapsed.” (1)

On the Intelligence of Ghosts Who Have Animalistic Charisma

“The ‘spook’ already mentioned (ante, p. 20-21) will now be understood. It may show very considerable intelligence, if the manasic element be still largely present, and this will be the case with the desire-body of persons of strong animal nature and forcible though coarse intellect. For intelligence working in a very powerful kamic personality will be exceedingly strong and energetic, though not subtle or delicate, and the spook of such a person, still further vitalised by the magnetic currents of persons yet living in the body, may show much intellectual ability of a low type.” (1)

How Such Ghosts Suck Vitality from the Living

“But such a spook is conscienceless, devoid of good impulses, tending towards disintegration, and communications with it can work for evil only, whether we regard them as prolonging its vitality by the currents which it sucks up from the bodies and kamic elements of the living, or as exhausting the vitality of these living persons and polluting them with astral connections of an altogether undesirable kind…” (1)

How Ghosts Live in Limbo

Kama-loka [limbo] (from loka, a place, and so the place for Kama) is a name often used to designate that plane of the astral world to which these spooks belong, and from this ray forth magnetic currents of poisonous character, as from a pest-house float out germs of disease which may take root and grow in the congenial soil of some poorly vitalised physical body.” (1)

THE THIRD POSSIBILITY: FORMATION OF AN ‘ELEMENTARY’ (I.E., A BLACK SOUL OR DARK SOUL); AND DEVOLUTION AND LOSS OF THE SOUL

This possibility occurs when lower manas and higher manas (i.e., the lower mind and the higher mind) are ‘rent asunder’.

  • This rending may occur at death, at the ‘weighing in’ of the Soul. In this case, the being that is formed of the kama (the desire matter of the personality) and the lower manas (the lower mind that created a sense of ‘I’-ness, or egoic identity during the incarnation) is called an ‘Elementary’.
  • Or this rending may occur during incarnation, when a personality ‘acts out’ in such a depraved way that the Soul is deeply and irrevocably injured. 

Annie Besant describes this eloquently:

Snapping of the Silver Thread (or ‘Silver Cord’) That Binds Lower Manas to Higher Manas

“There remains the third possibility for Kama-Manas, to which we must now turn our attention, the fate spoken of earlier as ‘terrible in its consequences, which may befall the kamic principle’. It may break away from its source made one with Kama instead of with the higher Manas. [This separate being forged of desire and lower mind is sometimes called an ‘Elementary’, a ‘Black Soul’, or a ‘Dark Soul’.]

“This is fortunately, a rare event, as rare at one pole of human life as the complete re-union with the higher Manas is rare at the other. But still the possibility remains and must be stated. The personality may be so strongly controlled by Kama that, in the struggle between the kamic and manasic elements, the victory may remain wholly with the former.

“The lower Manas may become so enslaved that its essence may be frayed and thinner and thinner by the constant rub and strain, until at last persistent yielding to the promptings of desire bears its inevitable fruit, and the slender link which unites the higher to [Page 46] the lower Manas, the ‘silver thread that binds it to the Master’ (aka the ‘silver cord’), snaps in two.

“Then, during earth-life, the lower quaternary is wrenched away from the Triad to which it was linked, and the higher nature is severed wholly from the lower. The human being is rent in twain, the brute has broken itself free, and it goes forth unbridled, carrying with it the reflections of that manasic light which should have been its guide through the desert of life.

The ‘Elementary’ (i.e., ‘Black Soul’ or ‘Dark Soul’): Brute Animal in Human Form

“A more dangerous brute it is than its fellows of the unevolved animal world, just because of these fragments in it of the higher mentality of man. Such a being, human in form but brute in nature, human in appearance but without human truth, or love or justice – such a one may now and then be met with in the haunts of men, putrescent while still living, a thing to shudder at with deepest, if hopeless compassion. What is its fate after the funeral knell has tolled?

“Ultimately, there is the perishing of the personality that has thus broken away from the principles that can alone give it immortality. But a period of persistence lies before it.

Reincarnations of the ‘Elementary’ (i.e., a ‘Black Soul’ or a ‘Dark Soul’)

“The desire-body of such a one is an entity of terrible potency, and it has this unique peculiarity, that it is able under certain rare circumstances to reincarnate in the world of men. It is not a mere ‘spook’ on the way to disintegration; it has retained, entangled in its coils, too much of the manasic element to permit of such natural dissipation in space.

“It is sufficiently an independent entity, lurid instead of radiant, with manasic flame rendered foul instead of purifying, as to be able to take to itself a garment of flesh once more and dwell as man with men. Such a man – if the word [Page 47] may indeed be applied to the mere human shell with brute interior – passes through a period of earth-life the natural foe of all who are still normal in their humanity.

“With no instincts save those of the animal, driven only by passion, never even by emotion, with a cunning that no brute can rival, a deliberate wickedness that plans evil in fashion unknown to the mere frankly natural impulses of the animal world, the reincarnated entity touches ideal vileness. Such soil the page of human history as the monsters of iniquity that startle us now and again into a wondering cry, ‘Is this a human being?’

Devolution and Loss of the Soul Described

“Sinking lower with each successive incarnation, the evil force gradually wears itself out, and such a personality perishes separated from the source of life. It finally disintegrates, to be worked up into other forms of living things, but as a separate existence, it is lost.

“It is a bead broken off the thread of life, and the immortal Ego that incarnated in that personality has lost the experience of that incarnation, has reaped no harvest from that life-sowing. Its ray has brought nothing back, its lifework for that birth has been a total and complete failure, whereof nothing remains to weave into the fabric of its own eternal Self. [Page 48]”

In love, light and joy,
I Am of the Stars

[Paragraphing and subheads in the quoted text above are mine. –Alice]

MORE READING

See also this list of my blogs on the topic of Ensoulment and Soullessnessness …

Link: “Ensoulment, Soullessness, and Soul Evolution,” by Alice B. Clagett, Published on 28 August 2018, https://wp.me/p2Rkym-a4p ..

FOOTNOTE

(1) from “The Seven Principles of Man,” by Annie Besant, 1909 “This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.” … from https://www.amazon.com/Seven-Principles-Annie-Wood-Besant/dp/1297513568 ..

Copies of this work can be found online, here and elsewhere:

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lower quaternary, manas, kama, kama-loka, limbo, kama-manas, personality, Elementary, soul devolution, soul evolution, loss of the soul, black soul, dark soul, Theosophy, Annie Besant,  gut brain, lower triangle, vital body, desire elemental, ghosts, spooks, four lower principles, shadow, incarnation, death, judgment, afterlife, higher mind, lower mind, higher manas, lower manas, soul wounding, anti-social personality, antisocial personality, controller, reptilians, silver cord, silver thread,

What Happens in the Afterlife … and the Purpose of Purgatory and Hell … by C.W. Leadbeater

Published on 27 July 2016

  • LIFE IN THE ASTRAL WORLD AFTER DEATH
  • THE DRUNKARD OR SENSUALIST’S EXPERIENCE OF THE AFTERLIFE
  • WHY SUICIDE OR SUDDEN DEATH CAUSES SUFFERING IN THE AFTERLIFE
    • When Those who Suddenly Die Have Lived a Pure and Noble Life
    • When Those who Suddenly Die Have Lived a Low and Brutal Life
    • The Difficulty that Suicides Have in Transcending the Astral Plane
  • THE PURPOSE OF PURGATORIAL AND HELLWORLD SUFFERING
  • DANGERS POSED BY HELL-BOUND SOULS TO EMBODIED HUMANS

Dear Ones,

Here are excerpts from the writings of the learned Theosophist C.W. Leadbeater, written in the late 1890s and early 1900s.

LIFE IN THE ASTRAL WORLD AFTER DEATH

“The conditions of life after death are almost infinite in their variety, but they can be calculated without difficulty by any one who will take the trouble to understand the astral world and to consider the character of the person concerned. That character is not in the slightest degree changed by death; the man’s thoughts, emotions and desires are exactly the same as before. He is in every way the same man, minus his physical body; and his happiness or misery depends upon the extent to which this loss of the physical body affects him.

“If his longings have been such as need a physical body for their gratification, he is likely to suffer considerably. Such a craving manifests itself as a vibration in the astral body, and while we are still in this world most of its strength is employed in setting in motion the heavy physical particles. Desire is therefore a far greater force in the astral life than in the physical, and if the man has not been in the habit of controlling it, and if in this new life it cannot be satisfied, it may cause him great and long-continued trouble.” (1)

THE DRUNKARD OR SENSUALIST’S EXPERIENCE OF THE AFTERLIFE

“Take as an illustration the extreme case of a drunkard or a sensualist. Here we have a lust which has been strong enough during physical life to overpower reason, common sense and all the feelings of decency and of family affection. After death the man finds himself in the astral world feeling the appetite perhaps a hundred times more strongly, yet absolutely unable to satisfy it because he has lost the physical body.

“Such a life is a very real hell—the only hell there is; yet no one is punishing him; he is reaping the perfectly natural result of his own action. Gradually as time passes this force of desire wears out, but only at the cost of terrible suffering for the man, because to him every day seems as a thousand years. He has no measure of time such as we have in the physical world. He can measure it only by his sensations. From a distortion of this fact has come the blasphemous idea of eternal damnation.

“Many other cases less extreme than this will readily suggest themselves, in which a hankering which cannot be fulfilled may prove itself a torture.” (1)

WHY SUICIDE OR SUDDEN DEATH CAUSES SUFFERING IN THE AFTERLIFE

“It will be readily understood that a man who is torn from physical life hurriedly while in full health and strength, whether by accident or suicide, finds himself upon the astral plane under conditions differing considerably from those which surround one who dies either from old age or from disease.

“In the latter case the hold of earthly desires upon the entity is more or less weakened, and probably the very grossest particles are already got rid of, so that the Kâmarûpa [the “desire body”, seat of animal desires and passions – Wikipedia] will most likely form itself on the sixth or fifth subdivision of[39] the Kâmaloka, [beings in the Kâmalokic areas of the astral plane haven’t yet shaken free of desire (Kâma). In the Catholic Church this, the ‘edge of Hell’, is termed Limbus or Limbo (2)–Alice].  or perhaps even higher; the principles have been gradually prepared for separation, and the shock is therefore not so great.

“In the case of the accidental death or suicide none of these preparations have taken place, and the withdrawal of the principles from their physical encasement has been very aptly compared to the tearing of the stone out of an unripe fruit; a great deal of the grossest kind of astral matter still clings around the personality, which is consequently held in the seventh or lowest subdivision of the Kâmaloka. This has already been described as anything but a pleasant abiding-place, yet it is by no means the same for all those who are compelled for a time to inhabit it.” (3)

When Those who Suddenly Die Have Lived a Pure and Noble Life. “Those victims of sudden death whose earth-lives have been pure and noble have no affinity for this plane, and the time of their sojourn upon it is passed, to quote from an early Letter on this subject, either ‘in happy ignorance and full oblivion, or in a state of quiet slumber, a sleep full of rosy dreams’.” (3)

When Those who Suddenly Die Have Lived a Low and Brutal Life. “But on the other hand, if their earth-lives have been low and brutal, selfish and sensual, they will, like the suicides, be conscious to the fullest extent in this undesirable region; and they are liable to develop into terribly evil entities.

“Inflamed with all kinds of horrible appetites which they can no longer satisfy directly now they are without a physical body, they gratify their loathsome passions vicariously through a medium or any sensitive person whom they can obsess; and they take a devilish delight in using all the arts of delusion which the astral plane puts in their power in order to lead others into the same excesses which have proved so fatal to themselves.

“Quoting again from the same letter:—’These are the Pisâchas the incubi and succubæ of mediæval writers—demons of thirst and gluttony, of lust and avarice, of intensified craft, wickedness and cruelty, provoking their victims to horrible crimes, and revelling in their commission’[40].

“From this class and the last are drawn the tempters—the devils of ecclesiastical literature; but their power fails utterly before purity of mind and purpose; they can do nothing with a man unless he has first encouraged in himself the vices into which they seek to draw him.

“One whose psychic sight has been opened will often see crowds of these unfortunate creatures hanging round butchers’ shops, public-houses, or other even more disreputable places—wherever the gross influences in which they delight are to be found, and where they encounter men and women still in the flesh who are like-minded with themselves.

“For such an entity as one of these to meet with a medium with whom he is in affinity is indeed a terrible misfortune; not only does it enable him to prolong enormously his dreadful life in Kâmaloka but it renews for perhaps an indefinite period his power to generate evil Karma, and so prepare for himself a future incarnation of the most degraded character, besides running the risk of losing a large portion or even the whole of the lower Manas.”

“On this lowest level of the astral plane he must stay at least as long as his earthly life would have lasted if it had not been prematurely cut short; and if he is fortunate enough not to meet with a sensitive through whom his passions can be vicariously gratified, the unfulfilled desires will gradually burn themselves out, and the suffering caused in the process will probably go far towards working off the evil Karma of the past life.” (3)

The Difficulty that Suicides Have in Transcending the Astral Plane. “The position of the suicide is further complicated by the fact that his rash act has enormously diminished the power of the higher Ego to withdraw its lower portion into itself, and therefore has exposed him to manifold and great additional dangers: but it must be remembered that the guilt of suicide differs considerably according to its circumstances, from the morally blameless act of Seneca or Socrates[41] through all degrees down to the heinous crime of the wretch who takes his own life in order to escape from the entanglements into which his villainy has brought him, and of course the position after death varies accordingly.” (3)

THE PURPOSE OF PURGATORIAL AND HELLWORLD SUFFERING

“On this lowest level of the astral plane he must stay at least as long as his earthly life would have lasted if it had not been prematurely cut short; and if he is fortunate enough not to meet with a sensitive through whom his passions can be vicariously gratified, the unfulfilled desires will gradually burn themselves out, and the suffering caused in the process will probably go far towards working off the evil Karma of the past life.” (3)

DANGERS POSED BY HELL-BOUND SOULS TO EMBODIED HUMANS

“It should be noted that this class, as well as the shades and the vitalized shells, are all what may be called minor vampires; that is to say, whenever they have the opportunity they prolong their existence by draining away the vitality from human beings whom they find themselves able to influence. This is why both medium and sitters are often so weak and exhausted after a physical séance.

“A student of occultism is taught how to guard himself from their attempts, but without that knowledge it is difficult for one who puts himself in their way to avoid being more or less laid under contribution by them.” (3)

The above were excerpts from the writings of the learned Theosophist C.W. Leadbeater, written in the late 1890s and early 1900s.

In love, light and joy,
I Am of the Stars

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FOOTNOTES

(1) from “A Textbook of Theosophy,” by C.W. Leadbeater. (2004). Urbana, Illinois: Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 27 July 2016, from http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/12902 … [paragraphing and subheads are mine. –Alice Clagett]

(2) “In the theology of the Catholic Church, Limbo (Latin limbus, edge or boundary, referring to the “edge” of Hell) is a speculative idea about the afterlife condition of those who die in original sin without being assigned to the Hell of the Damned .” … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limbo … Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.

(3) from “The Astral Plane: Its Scenery, Inhabitants, and Phenomena,” by C.W. Leadbeater. (2007). Urbana, Illinois: Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 27 July 2016, from http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/21080 … [paragraphing and subheads are mine. –Alice Clagett]

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C.W. Leadbeater, suicide, purgatory, purpose of purgatory, hell, heaven, afterlife, sensualists, drunkards,  kamaloka, limbo, limbus, Kâmarûpa, desire body, Theosophy, life after death, astral realm, astral world, sin, vice, cruelty,